Top 3 tips to improve employee engagement

I probably don’t need to tell you about the benefits of engaged employees. (Or, if I do, check out our Employee Engagement and the Digital Workplace whitepaper) From an increase in productivity to a decrease in turnover rates, companies with engaged employees have it good. So, what’s their secret? What are they doing to make and keep their employees actively engaged in their work, and dedicated to their company? 

Here are a few tips. In hindsight, they’re actually pretty intuitive. Take a look. 

Tip 1: Do a little (platonic, professional) matchmaking. 

Let’s play a quick game. Without reading ahead, see if you can guess the top 5 downloaded apps in 2018. 

According to Mashable, they were, in order: 

5. Facebook

4. Messenger

3. Snapchat

2. Instagram

1. YouTube

Notice a common thread? Each item in the list is a social app. The goal of social apps is to bridge the great divide and create relationships between people who may otherwise have never connected. The fact that they’re the most downloaded speaks to the fact that people need other people. Organizationally speaking, bonded employees feel responsible for each other, and tend to work harder to support their teammates.  

To that end, go the extra mile and create a means for employees to connect with one another, no matter where they are or which department they’re in. Making tools like Slack, Teams, and Skype readily available, and encouraging employees to collaborate fosters the personal relationships that your team needs in order to be happier and more productive. The result? An energized, cohesive workforce and a boost to your bottom line. 

Tip 2: If the job requires a hammer, give your people hammers!

I don’t know much about construction, but I do know this: if you’re trying to pound a nail into a board, a screwdriver might work; a hammer would work better.  

It sounds like a gross oversimplification, but think about how frustrating it would be to consistently be asked to use an inefficient, less effective tool, especially if you know that there’s a better option. Now apply that understanding to your organization. Many companies require their employees to use home-grown tools because they’re inexpensive, or because they have a deep sense of brand loyalty. Then there are the companies who are doing it right. Those are the companies that acknowledge that yes, home-grown tools are cost-effective, but engaged employees are both cost-effective (goodbye, expensive onboarding!) and lucrative (hello, increased efficiency!). 

So do yourself a favor. Enable your team to do what they do best, and let go of control over the tools they use to do it. Give them the right tools for the job.  

Tip 3: Get a little existential.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re sitting at your desk and you think, “If I don’t submit this TPS report, will anyone really notice?” (Shout out to the cast of Office Space for that reference.) If you have, ugh. It’s the worst feeling. If you haven’t, you’re probably highly engaged and satisfied at work. Congratulations! 

In all seriousness, though, we all have those moments. We’ve all been caught up in the “I’m just a cog in the big corporate machine” funk where we just aren’t sure what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. 

This is where you as an organization have an opportunity. Share your company vision and mission statement, and talk to your team about how their work contributes. Better yet, make it readily available and visible right when your employees log in. When a task serves a larger purpose, it holds weight. The more “weighty” the task, the more engaged employees will be in its success. 

When you get down to the nitty gritty, we’re all spending time at work when we’d rather be doing something else. Ensuring that your colleagues know that time at work is time well spent and the organization has placed its faith in them goes a long way toward making it all worth it. 

If you’re interested in learning more about employee engagement and how Akumina can help increase it at your organization, check out our Employee Engagement and the Digital Workplace whitepaper, read more about it on our blog, and request a demo. 

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